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A brief history of the Ford Bronco generations
Jeep and International Harvester were the big players in the early 1960s SUV market, with the Toyota FJ40 and Nissan Patrol selling in much lower numbers. Because all of those competitors offered utilitarian off-roaders that rode on short wheelbases, Ford saw the potential for a vehicle that could go toe-to-toe on the trail but still offer an improved ride.
In a press release months prior to its launch, Ford Vice President Donald N. Frey said, “We believe the Bronco will offer customers new standards in this type of vehicle including ruggedness, maneuverability, and ‘go anywhere’ roadability.”
Having purchased an '83 XLT from Ford as an executive lease car turn in and driven it for 162K miles in 17 years and presently being the proud owner of a '95 XLT that had 164K miles on it when I bought it three years ago, I've got to wonder how you differentiate between the Bull Nose ('80-'86), Brick Nose ('87-'91) and Aero Nose ('92-'96) as separate "generations". Driving my '95 feels a whole lot like driving my '83 did. It is the same size vehicle built with a large number of interchangeable parts. It departs from the previous "generation" in no way similar to the First and Second generation Broncos. There are refinements here and there but the overall package is still the same truck from 1980 to 1996. My '83 and my '95 even had the same fixture on the ceiling as a dome/map reading light. The major difference is the front sheet metal, which changed with Ford's minor design changes of the F150. Those should all be classified as third generation Broncos. The current butt ugly vehicle is the fourth generation of the Bronco concept. IMHO that one took longer than the average baby elephant to arrive and isn't nearly as attractive.